Friday, March 25, 2016

A lesson in Now

I often say people should dance outside their comfort zone and last Friday I was presented with an opportunity to do just that.

Here's how the sequence goes:

My brother sends me a message through facebook that they'll be offering free recording sessions at the Liceo de Arte y Tecnología here in Puerto Rico. It says to message Héctor Caolo Álvarez, someone I actually don't know at all.

I see my brother's message and say, Ok, I'll write later...... then I say no, not later. Now.

I write Héctor to say I'm interested. He responds in less than twenty minutes sending me another contact, Dennis Morales, a telephone to reach him, and tells me a lot of people are apparently calling. I think to myself, well maybe they're full... but I'll call later... then I tell myself, no. Not later. Now.

I call Dennis Morales, tell him I'm interested and he asks me if I could swing by Monday at 8:30 AM.

I say yes.

He says awesome, see you then.

If you see the above sequence, there are several instances where I could have said later, not now. And here's the thing, later is the root of regret and of passing opportunities. Hesitation is what makes you swing a half second late, take off on a wave too late, and either miss out on a life event or eat it hard. I actually did hesitate, but I willed myself to just give myself a chance.

That's why this Monday I recorded three of my songs in a beautiful studio with the help of a cool group of great students and a kind studio engineer who is a professor.

I am an indie writer with 5 published books. I have a youtube channel and occasionally record original songs and for now, one cover. I've sung in public 3 times: at my wedding, in my second book activity two weeks ago, and in a recording studio... this past Monday... in front of 15+ people I didn't know.

Common sense would clearly establish that I have no business being in a recording studio. Oh and did I mention that last week my allergies were acting up and I'd been coughing quite a bit meaning my voice was subpar? Might I also mention that I don't sing particularly loud.

Yet there I was: in a recording studio, with my voice and my acoustic guitar.

And it was awesome.

The students at the Liceo were super kind and they were hungry to learn and took me super seriously. They had patience and I gave my best during the experience. Whatever self doubt may reside within me, I gave it the day off and whatever patience I lack as a musician, I multiplied intensely to give whatever I have to capture those songs and help these students learn. In the process I also ended up learning a lot about myself, about recording, about opportunities, and about the discipline it takes to make a record.

My thanks to the students for their kindness while dealing with me and making me feel like somebody and appreciating my work and my dance outside my comfort zone. My thanks to Dennis Morales for the opportunity, for making me sound like a musician, for patience, consideration, and skill. My thanks to Héctor for answering my message on facebook. My thanks to my brother for passing the message. And my thanks to my gut for insisting on the now instead of the later.

Here are the links to my first three songs recorded in a studio. Click on the song title to hear them.

Are they perfect? No. Will they make me a superstar? No. But are they mine? Absolutely, and that is as wonderful a reason to have done this as I can think of. So here's to embracing the now.

Peace, love, and music.


The Rain


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